TORONTO – ABER DIAMOND CORP. has agreed to buy out the minority shareholders in world-renowned jeweller, HARRY WINSTON. Aber purchased its initial 51% stake in April 2004 for US$85 million. Picking up the remaining 49% will cost the company US$157 million.
Aber says that by acquiring the remainder of the jeweller it has strengthened its strategic position in the two most profitable segments of the diamond pipelinemining and retailing. This positioning delivers premium rough diamond pricing through market insight provided by polished diamond buying. Since the initial investment, Harry Winston sales have grown from approximately US$128 million for the full 12 months of fiscal year 2004 (including two months that were prior to Aber’s acquisition), to US$191 million for fiscal year 2006. In addition, management has strengthened margins and improved operational performance, thereby contributing to Aber’s net earnings earlier than planned.
This strong financial performance is highlighted in Aber’s second quarter report. For the six months ending July 31, 2006, the company recorded net earnings of $58.1 million, compared to $32.6 million for the same period a year earlier.
The history of the House of Harry Winston dates back nearly 100 years and includes some of the most famous diamonds in the world, from the legendary Hope Diamond, now on permanent display at the Harry Winston Pavilion at the Smithsonian Institution, to the magnificent jewels owned by royalty, movie stars and heads of state. Harry Winston’s dimensional and fluid designs, flawless craftsmanship and unparalleled quality have set the standards for diamond jewellery. Drool a bit at www.HarryWinston.com.